Archive for October 2005

Well, after a long, tiring weekend, I’m slowly getting back into the groove. I led a retreat over the weekend for some college students that go to schools around the Puget Sound. I’ve never been asked to lead a full retreat before, so that was an interesting experience. Three talks, all related to a central theme. Be high energy enough to maintain peoples’ interest, without being cheesy or lame. Be challenging in the talks in order to motivate some life change/adjustments, without being overly emotional or manipulative. Overall, it felt like things went pretty well – my opinion isn’t the important one in terms of whether or not it was actually a good experience for people – but I guess my opinion does count for something. The next few weeks will still be very busy and full of activity for me, but I get to be more of a consumer […]

Wow . . . tragic news for a young, but effective church in Waco, TX. Their pastor, Kyle Lake, 33, was electrocuted during a baptism service at the church yesterday. Full story here. Pray for this young family.

I stepped outside my office yesterday to make a phone call (cell phone reception is horrible in there), and saw two University Police cars and one Seattle PD car literally across the street, with yellow caution tape strung up in front of a wooded area on campus. I and a bunch of other people stood watching . . . and then the Medical Examiner’s truck rolled in. Here is what happened.

Young Canadians — and likely young people elsewhere in the world — have found a hero. Anyone who messes with Stephen Lewis better know that. Some do-gooder is running around using my name. No worries:a) He’s older than me, so he got his name before I got mineb) He’s making the name mean good things to millions of people, and raising trouble at high levels while doing so. Read about the Stephen Lewis Foundation here. Via

While reading through The Shaping of Things to Come, among other things, I’ve latched on to the idea that the church needs to become less attractional and more incarnational if it is to have a helpful impact on the world. The days of tightly produced musical and drama programs, slick advertising campaigns, and sermon series that supposedly address what real people are dealing with are coming to the end of their effectiveness. Instead, we ought to incarnate (Greek = “enflesh”)the life and work of Christ in our lives. Figure out what that looks like within our local contexts, whether they be urban, suburban, rural, cross-cultural, foreign, etc. In my own ministry arena – on the college campus, I’ve been seeing the reality of this scenario. Being new to this, I think I’ve got a little bit of objectivity, but here’s what I’ve witnessed. On the campus where I work, the […]

What does “missional” mean? As I was in the seminary lecture the other day, I used the word “missional” a few times. After one of these times, one of the students asked me to clarify what I meant by that term. That wasn’t the first time that’s happened to me. I’ve had pastors, denominational leaders, and even academics ask me what I mean when I use the word. And while I’ve read and studied some really good books, and spent a lot of time discussing elements of missional life with a large number of fellow travelers along the way, it’s always been difficult for me to define the word in a brief and clear way. I think part of the difficulty in doing so has to do with how the word sounds. It sounds similar enough to stuff that church people are familiar with that many people make assumptions about […]

Busy few days. The seminary lecture went well, I think. I was brought into the class in order to help stimulate some thinking in the students. I think we collectively did that. Some of the students had some sour looks on their faces by the end of my time with them, and some were nodding their heads. I guess that’s what I’d consider a good result. Still lots of work to do for this year’s student ministry calendar, as well as planning for the things down the road. These are fun times, but I do feel as though I’m in a little over my head. Michelle encouraged me by telling me about a TV show she had been watching. It highlighted the story of a woman who had lost her eyesight as a child, but had boldly gone through life, and ultimately pursued and opened a school for blind children […]

Malcolm Gladwell, Moby, and other cultural creatives discuss what’s coming in this Time online article: One of the big trends in American society is the transformation of the evangelical movement and the rise of a more mature, sophisticated, culturally open evangelical church. Ten years from now, I don’t think we’re going to have the kinds of arguments about religion that we have today. Hmmmm, would that be a good thing? I want to say yes, but I gotta wonder what the price of this kind of “peace” would be.

Sitting here in a hotel room in Vancouver, WA. I got up at 4am to make the drive down here with a friend to go to a seminar this morning. My friend teaches a class at our denom’s seminary here, and he asked me to come in and do a guest spot. This will be a first for me, so I’m looking forward to it. I had a good quick chat this afternoon with the seminary’s Dean, which I’m hoping will develop into a really good working relationship. The work with the missional school we’re developing could be aided by some credible academic endorsement. Last week was the first of about an eight week run in which things get a bit hectic. The next eight weekends are booked solid. I’m leading a retreat for college students one weekend, doing the Generous Orthodoxy thing another weekend, I’m speaking in a couple […]

The Seattle Times has written about something I was afraid of: after giving generously to the tsunami and Katrina disaster relief efforts, people are slowing in their giving of aid. The earthquake in Pakistan, and the mudslide in Guatamala are not generating significant contributions to organizations like World Vision. Then again, maybe people just aren’t aware enough of what’s happening. The latest conservative estimate I read said that at least 22,000 people have been killed by the earthquake. And last night on the local TV news, the story about the quake was place about 20 minutes into the half-hour newscast, following a story about the Seattle arrival of dogs that were displaced after hurricane Katrina. I like dogs as much as the next guy, but 20,000 people dying ranks behind homeless pooches??? I seriously hope that isn’t a fitting metaphor for how the news director feels about Pakistanis.